Police have issued a warning after a photograph emerged which appears to show children “playing chicken” on a busy Inverness road.
The shocking photo apparently shows two youngsters stretched out across one lane of General Booth Road – while a third stands next to them.
Police last night described the behaviour as “reckless” and urged anyone with concerns to contact them.
The photograph was widely shared on social media yesterday and was condemned by local councillors concerned about the behavior.
It comes just a day after a police force in England released pictures of children lying on the road and apparently playing a similar game of dare.
The original social media post in the Inverness case said one of the children came within seconds of being hit by a car.
The incident happened on the busy General Booth Road in the Kinmylies area, close to Charleston Academy.
The road is a busy link between the A82 Fort William road and the A862 to Beauly, as well as providing access to housing in the area.
Councillor Alex Graham, Inverness West, said he hadn’t been aware of this kind of behaviour in the area before – and said he hoped it wouldn’t continue.
He said: “It’s a very worrying thing to hear about and I hope it doesn’t become a trend.
“I would discourage anyone from thinking of joining in with this kind of behaviour.
“It’s a very worrying thing for the safety of the children and it must be frightening for the driver as well.
“General Booth Road is a main road and is very busy so it is dangerous.
“I urge the children not to take part in this kind of thing and encourage parents to make sure they warn about the dangers.”
The children in the photo cannot be identified from the photo, which is taken from further up the road.
It was shared on the same day that police in Northumbria released pictures of young children engaged in similar activity in Washington near Sunderland.
The pictures from England show the youngsters lying on the road as well as one where a car passes between them.
The photos, taken in Oxclose Road, Washington, were sent to Northumbria Police by a local councillor after residents raised concerns.
Officers used the photos to remind people of the dangers of playing near busy roads.
Inverness-based Inspector Ali Maclean warned about the dangers of such behaviour and urged parents to be aware of what their children are doing.
He said: “Playing on or near roads is not safe.
“Those involved in such reckless behaviour risk not only their own safety but that of other motorists and road users. I would encourage parents to ensure they know where their children are and that they are safe.
“We would urge anyone with any information or concerns relating to this contact us on 101.”